|Marathon Redux (Alpha 0.013) Spoiler Guide Part 2
|Posted By: Lion O Cyborg
|Date: 12/27/21 5:01 a.m.
WARNING: This is not representative of the final product and anything in the game depicted here is subject to change. This is just a recording of a beta test Iím doing for the mod creator. DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE GAME TO BE SPOILED FOR YOU. Iím dead serious. Like part one, this was originally written in mid 2020 and the version you will see here is heavily modified.
EPISODE 2: Counterattack Continued from Part 1
E2M7/Map09: Blaspheme Quarantine
Durandal decides to punish us double this time: itís now an M2 rebellion mission, so weíre stripped of all our guns, ammo, shields and most of our health. Personally, I think this is a neat way to train the player in using the pfhor weapons like the staff more once they can use them better. You may still be screwed with fisticuffs until you get armed. The next map is probably going to be nearly as hard as vanilla because of this, but at least the crew are armed now. One or two of the buttons upstairs turns on the lights. You want to avoid the hulks if you can until you are better armed, as you donít want to fistfight them.
While we donít have stalker cyborgs yet, we do have the Rubicon hulks as major rank ones. The assault rifle and ammo for it and the pistols is here. Thereís a new weapons cache where you enter the storage bay directly behind you labelled Q3 Patientís Effects. Maybe he is Employee 2-4601? Unfortunately, the RPG and flamethrower remain just out of reach and thereís another ceiling keeping you from simply climbing up and taking them.
Tychoís terminal now has a havok rifle, ammo clips for it and a flamethrower among the regular ammo. Tychoís text is now white and has a faded Marathon image with cracks in it for the login screen. If you backtrack and listen to Durandalís song, he really does teleport you out into space: you end up on a radio tower high above the shipís hull/old Deimos surface with a pair of juggernauts bearing down on you. Unlike M1A1, the tanks function just like their M1 Classic counterparts, only with updated visuals.
EPISODE 3: Reprisal
E3M1/Map10: Bob B-Q
Ah yes, the infamous Bob B-Q. The absolute worst map from the early game. Unwinnable escort mission like The Rose, hunters are added to the mix just to rub salt in and narrow hallways. It's on par with the Infinity vacuum levels, Sorry Donít Make it So, Kill Your Television, Hang Brain and Aye Mak Sicur as far as bad levels go. Until today.
In Redux, the Bobs are not only armed like in The Rose, but they have flamethrowers and more powerful weapons now. You still want to hurry and assault rifle everything you can. Thereís no fusion pistol yet as far as I can see so the rifle is the best weapon for hunters. The escort mission is now winnable like the last one too! This is why Iím on Major Damage as I want to stand a chance at this the first time before bumping it up to Total Carnage. I donít want to have to bump it down again to Normal.
You want to find health and save, quick! The security bobs working under me (Marcus Jones is the head of security after all) can and will cause friendly fire on you when trying to help you. Besides flamethrowers, they have assault rifles and even shotguns! The pistols, flamethrower and Havok Rifle are good for the little ledge hall leading to the shield terminal and oxygen. I heal up, charge up, climb up and save up.
Bobs can take more hits now than I realise, the tiny corridors with caution stripes are about a unit and a half wide now and the security team aids their leader in saving more of the crew, though an exploding defence drone courtesy of an EMP shorted hunter wipes out my shields, but Iím otherwise unharmed. The crew in the room I was in there are no longer massacred like vanilla. Looking good so far.
Turns out I did get a fusion pistol back but didnít notice as I kept scrolling through my arsenal too quick. (Note: Going by my Total Carnage run, it seems to be in the Patient's Effects of Blaspheme Quarantine but I didn't notice nor forgot when the Redux spoiler guide was written) The havok rifle is better while ammo lasts, but be careful as its normal bullets now cause EMP damage to hunters unlike Eternal.
*Clang clang!* ďHello?! Weíre in here! If you can hear us, watch out! Itís a trap!Ē
One ambush I knew was coming plus the 4 terrible emergency lifts in the broken maintenance duct stairs later, I see once again what I should have seen when I first played M1A1 back in 2012. Even Bob B-Q can be beaten at last after all this time. (Note: In my total carnage run, unlike The Rose, I failed this level the first time so I reloaded and tried again, being more careful with how I approached each room. That did the trick.)
Oh my God, Leela! A bomb!
All I ever wanted was someone else's approval on my world saving abilities and now I get it.
E3M2/Map11: Shake Before UsingÖ
The title implies this is supposed to be the map where we defuse a bomb the Pfhor bring on board to disable the reactors though they may end up destroying the ship. However, there is no bomb. Bungie either cut the plotline and forgot to remove the warning text, or they simply forgot to add it. The next map coupled with this one implies weíre too late and thereís a big fire (breaches in the lava fountains?) though itís really only called that due to the lava and for a Beavis and Butthead reference.
It was upon my pointing out this very plothole a few years ago that Raven first mentioned in that story forum thread her intention to make Marathon Redux. The bomb, escort missions and plank system were said to be be among the primary things rectified and the Alpha reflects an excellent start on that, as my coverage of The Rose and BobBQ has shown.
The pistons in the first room past Leelaís terminal (which has some bad interference on the monitor due to the Sípht attacks) have lava in them, which gives the impression they are lava pumps for the plumbing system we saw in Defend THIS and Cool Fusion. Said magma pipes are here too, such as one of the secrets near the log terminal.
The gaps you have to cross appear to be sewers now, and the huge, dark, creepy bridge room is now a massive tank of clean water. The teleporter by Durandalís terminal has no water in it, but you can hear a waterfall sound to illustrate itís being teleported away. Go through it and the secret room you warp to is completely flooded. Thatís a nice touch.
The lava in the Y shaped platform room can now be heard, like the later games. Itís also way deeper. The exploit when the 2X shield (purple bar) charger closes up still works.
Now, I know this is still just an alpha but Iíve come to the final 2 lava pumps and I still donít see the Pfhor bomb. Just curious to know because of that: what is the plan for this section? Is the bomb even intended for this specific level or a later one, like FIREX5 or Colony Ship for Sale? Wherever the bomb ends up appearing, may I suggest there be a puzzle involving switches and circuit/wire smashing to defuse it with clues on how to do it right. Hit the wrong switch or cut the wrong wires and there could be a Juggernaut explosion that kills the player and everything on the level, simulating the bomb going off.
EPISODE 4: Durandal
E4M1/Map12: FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!
Love the new chapter screen artwork.
When I played the old alpha, I hated how this level was in vacuum now as there was seemingly no reason for it. However as I was informed at the time, there is a perfectly good reason for it but it just wasnít implemented yet: the lava and the fires from it are giving off too much smoke to be safe. Since this is a confined space and thereís no crouch button (yet), we are forced to breath in the smoke and choke on it. I think thatís clever and it lampshades how Marcus still canít crouch in the sourceport: thereís air under the smoke but we canít reach it. (Crouching wouldnít save us here, but thatís engine limits for you)
The lack of most weapons from vacuum is just a limitation, as Aleph One does not account for this outside scripting. Also, the lava not only keeps the old hotplate behaviour, but it also uses M1A1ís real liquids overlaid over the hotplates, preserving their lovely shimmering effect. Yay! :D
The effect is lost in deeper pools however, as seeing too much of the sides instead of the floor breaks the illusion. Aleph One currently has no way to add extra texture panels to walls and the sides of raised/lowered polygons like other 2.5D & early full 3D game engines have, meaning that texturing the walls with lava to preserve the shimmer effect in deep pools only looks good if the surface is level with the edges, plus you would not be able to lower the lava without it looking weird.
Lava textures are now updated and seem to be double layered, adding to the shimmering effect.
Speaking of deeper pools, this one and the one past the wasp column are deeper than before. I think the older build used Sípht instead of wasps due to vacuum and fighters were removed, but I may remembering that wrong and was actually thinking of Neither High nor Low, as that is definitely the case on that map. This one keeps the M1 wasps, which kind of makes sense as this is just full of smoke, not vacuum and wasps may come from a planet where they evolved to survive in such places.
This is more something I wanted to know about Marathon 1 itself but what exactly are those lava ovens? Do the crew bake pizza down here?
This pool is just a hotplate polygon but unlike Marathon 1 it actually makes sense: the lava in this particular area is actually meant to be that shallow as I found out when climbing out of the deep part by the wasp column.
Good luck with that, especially around here.
What I especially like about this part is that the lava level now rises as the elevators come up, simulating liquid displacement. The lava by the exit is also just hotplates as well to simulate toe deep flooding. Would be nice if it was animated though like Marathon 1 Classic did e.g. the surface bouncing up and down like tides or stretching in and out.
All in all, I like this map just as much as the M1A1 and M1 Classic versions and itís greatly improved over the older alpha. Hereís how I sum up my appreciation.
E4M2/Map13: Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap!
Unlucky for some: Bob BQ is the worst M1 Classic map of the early game, this one is the worst of the mid-game and for a very good reason. You know the one. The only saving graces are the use of Swirls as the music and Durandalís terminals, which the former goes with very well. Thereís not much changed yet for this map, the awful lift puzzle is still here. I did notice early on is that the lookers/explodie bugsí eyes now glow and the textures have subtle bump mapping on them if you look up close. This map in M1A1 taught me to appreciate using the automap when backtracking for long stretches, letting me study the levelís topography. I didnít know about the overlay map until I saw Shudaki using it in his Marathon 3 LP though.
Near the start once youíve set up the lifts (canít place the exact trigger point), one of the new areas from the early builds of M1A1/original IOS port returns. You see, my build of M1A1 (and by extension my first experience with Marathon at all) was the final build from 2012 that got rid of the new areas from older versions and made players suffer through this mapís puzzle. The old/ios versions instead made the puzzle lifts go to the correct height on their own when you hit the buttons. The new terminal added in was meant to help you with the puzzle but since it was removed, the terminal now teleports you to the Troll Room. This is the sealed off area with the rocket launcher and flamethrower you canít enter, except it was no longer a troll room as you could get its stuff and jump into the pit to teleport back to the main path.
Redux keeps that, which is good though it doesnít change the terminal text to reflect that the puzzle was restored.
But then Redux goes and spoils it. This part is entirely unchanged from the older Redux alpha: it teleports you to the ammo room but the exit teleporter is removed. Instead, you get a lava hotplate hidden under a small sewage pool in the pit instead, turning it into a suicide trap and reinstating the Troll Room status.
Rather upsetting. Besides the difficulty of Map06 due to the monster respawn rates, this is one of only two things so far in the mod that I really donít like, alpha status be damned. For the next build, get rid of that hotplate and restore the teleporter so you can reap this secretís rewards like the ios M1.
On a lighter note, I tested and itís still entirely possible to skip the lifts puzzle entirely by grenade climbing to the exit while blowing raspberries at the map designer.
I wonder how this levelís geometry can be improved for future versions? Iíve seen suggestions elsewhere offering ideas as a Security team assault course or setting it in the Marathonís reactors. I donít know if the reactors are fusion like Halo but if theyíre fission based, they could take a realistic reactor design, with coolant waterways and pipes, the Marathonís lava cycle ďseaĒ at the end of the rivers, waste channels and disposal/recycling plants (using the radioactive green slime in Pfhor ship levels), decontamination showers and cooling ponds for the spent fuel rods.
What would you guys like to see improved architecture wise in this map?
E4M3/Map14: Habe Quiddam
One of my favourite maps from the original game mostly because of Rushing. The CD enhanced version, the Craig Hardgrove Remix and the Eupforia version are all the best versions of this Legendary track. Iím yet to hear one that sucks (the Quicktime 3.0 versions of the original MIDI files donít count; they might as well not exist in general).
Simulacrums appear for the first time on this map like the original game but now they use their Marathon 2 lines as well as ďThank God Itís YouĒ which is good. I notice at one point some Bobs run off ledges and into the lava. And hereís me thinking their AI was improved. XD Well thereís bound to be slip ups on occasion so Iíll let it slide. I like how the converter that Durandal sends me to get is in 3D now too. I donít think it was in the original gameís version of the plugin. (I think) The extra ones in the corner of the save terminal room have been removed as well.
This is another 3D model thatís well designed. It looks like a cross between a Phlat Ball toy (I love those things) and the Redshift Championship trophy in Quantum Redshift.
In the early/ios build of M1A1, there were two elevators on the pillars by the 1X shield terminal. The one on the right led to a secret maze with circuit board textures that eventually led out onto the ledge the Pfhor in this room were on. That elevator is still there in Redux but now it connects to the same hallway at the left lift slightly further along. Something about this map and the last is that chunks of them are extremely dark, making it hard to navigate. Sípht teleport in by the exit.
E4M4/Map15: Neither High Nor Low
This map is in vacuum too and itís a proper one this time like G4 Sunbathing. I thought this was a lot less justifed than Map12 as it didnít seem to have any reason whatsoever to be in vacuumÖbut thatís because Iíd forgotten about the windows in the side path and by the exit terminal. If the former ones were open for some reason, of course this part of the ship would be in depressurised. Maybe this is one of the areas Leela tried to halt the Pfhorís advance through earlier and after sealing the doors, she just opened the windows. That or someone shot them out.
Since the area is in vacuum, hunters and Sípht replace the fighters and wasps that were here before. The explodie bugs with active camo remain however. Oxygen terminals have been added as well, such as one in the hunter alcove at the start.
I like how some barrels are lying on their sides like that. The windows in this area are closed so they canít be the reason for the vacuum. Now that you are better armed for vacuum as you can use the staff and Havok rifle more efficiently, make the rifle your primary MA-75 replacement for this map but use the fusion pistol on hunters if theyíre standing too close: the EMP against hunters from Marathon 2 hasnít been applied to the fusion pistol yet but the havok rifle bullets will cause EMP damage. As before, the VISR in a secret before the dark maze helps greatly and it can even detect invisible enemies like the lookers.
snít that one of Durandalís probes from the ending? Whatís it doing here? Granted, those were in the Arrival skybox too, but I didnít actually notice until now. Also, found the reason the level is in vacuum: this is the open window.
EPISODE 5: The Pfhor
E5M1/Map16: Pfhor Your Eyes Only
The new skybox plugin adds more of the Sfieraís fuslage under the windows with what looks like large lakes of the radioactive green slime. I love the new areas outside the windows above me added to Redux too. I think Raven said when I covered the older alpha that you are supposed to be able to get into that upper area, but it wasnít built yet during that alpha. The only issue with this view is that the Marathon feels too close. I donít know how big the ďroomĒ outside actually is, but if itís big enough, the ship sprite could be moved further away so it appears smaller. It canít be moved off the edge of the ship as thatís part of the skybox, but so long as itís far enough away and appears smaller, it could help sell the player on the distance between Boomer and the Marathon.
I think there was talk of opening up the Marathon 2 areas near the pattern buffer room as well. Sure enough, thereís a dent in the wall in at least the old alpha to mark where the liquid thundrillium/coolant vent was.
Speaking of which, the radioactive slime now uses the thundrillium sounds from Marathon 2 for consistency despite not being the same liquid. By the two fountains behind the start are two of those strange metal ball things. The original sprites look like a strange lab instrument from the title card of the Tom & Jerry episode The Invisible Mouse.
In the 3D models plugin, itís the second example of the main two (the first being the chips) I gave for 3D models in the plugin that look good. They look kind of basic on their own, but if they are placed on an animated texture like the silver covers floating in the foundtains, puzzle piece shaped machinery starts working, making them look like alien puzzle balls.
Itís all too quiet. Soon to change.
Pfhor defence drones from Marathon 2 now appear in Redux which is a nice touch. Careful with some of the jelly fountains: the suicide traps from early/ios M1A1 are back, but since transparent liquids applies to the jelly now sometimes too, it gives the traps away plus it looks nice.
Thereís the cover of the vent to the M2 areas I mentioned. However, itís locked so I canít get in. I also notice the lighting is a lot better than vanilla too, with all the pulsing and strobing lights plus the slightly darker basic ambient light.
Pretty cool. I wonder which part of the ship that is? The drones outside are a nice touch too.
Charging hunter armour can be disconnected from its cables and the power stolen, effectively make them free 1X shield (yellow health) canisters, unlike vanilla where they are just set dressing to scare the player.
Hmm, what have we here?
I recognise this too!
Ah. Of course. Marcus doesnít have his translator software yet, so the message appears entirely in Pfhoric. I canít read Pfhoric. This terminal wasnít written yet in the old build so it didnít work. Now that it does, I like how we canít just read the text right away. I wonder if the translator software will be a new thing Durandal plans to give us once I return to the Marathon.
The armoury with the hunter armour closet is still here. I notice that the lights on the Scatter Rifles now glow. Sadly, they donít have their Eternal shotgun blast and function identically to vanilla. I donít mind the lack of ammo clips though as it makes sense from a story point of view, like the other two weapons.
Uh oh. Thatís a sneaky secret. I jumped into the jelly fountain at the start after leaving the armoury and a secret teleporter brought me to that pretzel shaped area I saw earlier. That is cool! Iíll need to heal, charge my shields and save before testing the other fountain traps to see if they have similar teleporters elsewhere.
You can get out of this arena by sprint of faith slingshotting from ledge to ledge around the walls.
h there we go! Full health and full shield power, baby!
Now Iíve got a problem: Iím stuck. The teleporter at the top just sends me back down to the arena floor again just in front the teleporter alcove. Is this another suicide trap? Or is the teleporter simply not set up right yet? I reload and try out the other traps. A couple are genuine, at least 1 at the start is just a fountain and not a trap, and the others do have teleporters but they just take me back to the pretzel arena. I can barely glimpse the new areas at past the vent cover by the save terminal on the automap, but I donít know if the way to reach them as been added in this alpha. I do look forward to seeing them in future versions though. I canít expect everything to be done at once.
E5M2/Map17: No Artificial Colors
Not much changed here yet. Thereís pumps and other machinery sounds at the start so judging by the abundance of red Bobs (engineers?) in this area, I think this is another part of the engineering sector.
I love the new rocket launcher design. The vanilla Marathon 1 one looked like a giant metal potato when you held it, though itís world sprite was fine. The M2 one reminded me of the one from Halo 1+2 and the Redux design evokes the latter while still being true to the M1 aesthetic.
The ambush behind the big blast door is gone now. I need to test if itís still there on Total Carnage however. The pattern buffer in the dark tunnel is blinking like crazy, but donít worry; it still works.
I canít tell if I simply got lucky, but the timing on the crushers before the Bobsí cell seemed less random when I got there.
A cry of ďFrog blast the vent core!Ē plus a warning from the normal Bobs alerts me to the sims in the cell. Once the humans run out, the one sim left in there goes ďkill me!Ē so I give him his wish. Those Bobs are vanilla unarmed ones since they were being held captive. Thereís a VISR and two shadow (active camo) chips in the wasp alcoves. You can reach them with grenade climbing.
The big room with the troopers and teleporter is now a large septic tank. Use the havok rifle to deal with the troopers and explodie Bob under the sewage.
The sewage does flood the armoury like youíd expect, but unlike Shake Before Using it isnít underwater as the poo flows down a drain in the centre of the room.
Before talking to Durandal, I loop around again to heal and charge my shields before saving.
This map is largely unchanged too. I notice that just like the older alpha, the flamethrower no longer workings as a jetpack in low gravity (due to running on the Infinity engine) hasnít been fixed like the grenade climbing has.Thatís more a general pointer than a map specific one though. The Eupfhoria remixes of the Pfhor ship levels here (in the hack) really adds to the atmosphere and wonder like the original MIDIs do in M1 Classic.
Watch out for the sims in the cells as well as the hunters and wasps in the observation theatre downstairs though. It wasnít part of the last alpha I played, but Iím pretty sure saving Bernhard is intended as another plank point so try to avoid letting any Bobs die, in case one of them is Strauss.
Normally, the Bobs should be naked since aliens typically strip their human specimens down to study their anatomy, not caring about the latterís thoughts of decency. Bungie couldnít really depict that graphically back in the day Ėthis was 2 years before Duke Nukem 3D- so they put the Bob specimens on the Pfhor ship levels in their pants. The 3D models plugin replaces their Y-front briefs with towels, which seems to be making a subtle joke that theyíve been probed. No cigarettes though.
I see London, I see France, I see Bobís underpants.
E5M4/Map19: Two Times Two EqualsÖ
When I first played in 2012, I didnít get the Pfhor pun here and thought the map title was being poetic by talking about two equal people in different time periods. Turns out the pun was a maths joke and not even a subtle one. Whoops.
Once again, I like the drones outside the windows. The green shadow chip things from G4 Sunbathing are used as bridge posts here.
Whatís behind that lift? Is that where the drones are coming in? I jump through to see where it goes.
Oh man, cool! This must be how the drones outside are getting in. You can jump and float around the hull of the Sfiera and destroy all the robots. I never thought Iíd see something like this.
You can float over the skybox part of the hull in those gaps and grenade climb to get out. I notice when I'm finished that the windows are all closed and the line in the skybox where the waterfall trap was are one-way only so I canít get back without reloading.
Assuming this secret (if it isnít a glitch) is kept in the newer versions, an idea for this area would be to fight your way past the drones along the outside of the hull and find the tower from Naw Man, Heís Closeís development concept. Youíd then cross the slime lake around it, climb the tower and find a weapons cache and a secret terminal up top that warps you back into the main level. Itís gotta have a really good message too, either a translated Sípht one or another fun little Easter egg.
The reason this jelly is radioactive unlike the pink liquid thundrillium crystals in Marathon 2 onward is because it damages you simply if you share the same sector: the polygons are labelled as Major Ouch sectors so you donít actually have to touch the liquid or hotplate polygon for it to hurt. This is why I think recycling this stuff for the nuclear waste in the Marathonís reactors in future builds (if they are fission ones) would be a nice touch. Some irradiated areas without the actual waste could use major ouch polys but benign looking floor textures. Invincibility/Overshield chips may be needed for crossing those areas if they are large enough.
I also notice in the next bridge area that the scatter rifle is no longer hitscan like it is in the original and Eternal: You can now actually see the pellets flying through the air.
You might consider sitting this one out. Like the older alpha, enforcers do indeed fire on other Pfhor like Leela told us about. They donít behave that way at all in the original game. They will fire on us too but thatís because weíre a Battleroid and not a full human.
Looking sharp. Fancy! The jelly streamlets in here make lava sounds as well as pfhor slime sounds for some reason. Is this pillar thing a heater?
In early M1A1/ios, this new secret led through winding passages to a big room of some kind. In Redux, the passage is cut off and the old alpha used to have a vent in the corner to allow drones into the ship.
For now they seem much more interested in killing each other. They do sometimes take pot shots at you so be careful.
Looks like this converter model is actually another kind of puzzle ball. Itís pretty. :)
The original log versions were in two parts but I got to split this one up further as part 2 is too long.
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